A Comparative Analysis of Women Candidatures and Outcomes in the 2011 and 2015 Nigeria General Elections


One noticeable development in the Nigeria’s 2015 general elections is the differentials in the numbers and outcomes of women involvement as candidates in comparison to the 2011 elections. The percentage of women contesting for presidential position decline from 12.5% in 2011 to 7.1% in 2015. That of the gubernatorial election also witnessed a reduction from 10.2% in 2011 to 7.1% in 2015, while the percentage of women for deputy governorship positions was relatively stable with only an increase of 0.4%. However, there was a double increment in the contestations for Senatorial posts from 10.3% in 2011 to 22.2% in 2015. Also, the number of women candidacy into the House of Representative and State Houses of Assembly recorded an increase of 5.7% and 5.6% respectively. However, when it comes to actual successes at the polls, the outcomes were not encouraging. With the exemption of deputy governorship number that improved from 2.8% in 2011 to 13.8% in 2015, all others witnessed a sharp decline. While Presidential and Governorship numbers returned nil percentages, there were shortfalls of 1.8% and 2.5% of women elected into the Senate and the House of Representatives respectively. Given the presence of 35% affirmative action and incentives introduced by various parties, some questions arise: Why do the positive changes refused to come? What does this say about the Nigerian society?.......

Omowumi O. IDOWU.